Darlene Foster's Blog

Brodick Castle on the Isle of Arran

Posted on: September 11, 2022

While visiting the Isle of Arran, I was determined to visit Brodick Castle, owned by the Hamilton family for 450 years. It turned out to be a forty-five-minute walk from the town of Brodick to Brodick Castle, but it was worth it.

I walked through a peaceful park

and over a bridge with a swan in the river!

I carefully trampled through a golf course with appropriate warnings,

along a busy road and through gorgeous gardens with fabulous views of the sea.

Convinced I was lost, I walked around a corner and saw…this!

Brodick Castle

I opened the front door and discovered an intriguing world from the past.

The family crest with their motto “through”
My favourite room, the library
The drawing room
The amazing ceiling with a Waterford crystal chandelier!
The kitchen
With bread in the oven
The amazing gardens with the sea in the background
Gardens with a Bavarian summer house built as a place to rest.
And a crow posing for me
The back of the castle towards the end of the day
photo by Terry Tyler

Someone took a picture of someone taking a picture of me!

The original castle was built in the late 1200s and was initially a fortification due to its strategic location overlooking a wide sheltered bay. Over the centuries it has been a defensive stronghold, a hunting lodge and a family home. It has gone through many transformations, but for five generations, the Hamilton family, used the castle as a place of relaxation and pleasure until it was donated to the National Trust in 1957.

I was very glad I made the trek to visit this amazing castle, filled with stories and treasures from around the world. It is also purported to be haunted!

87 Responses to "Brodick Castle on the Isle of Arran"

What a classic slice of history! Thanks for taking us on your walk!

It was so cool. So much history in one building. At one point it was given as a wedding gift to a Duke’s son and his wife. The newlyweds asked if they could make a few changes, perhaps add on to it a bit (at his expense) They ended up doubling the size of the castle!

That actually looks like it would have been nice to live there. Were you the only visitor?

There were a few others but not many, which was great. I had each room to myself and the staff was willing to chat, answer my questions and provide me with tons of extra information.

How lovely. The only castle here I know of is Hearst Castle, a fair approximation but very commercial now.

It’s amazing! And so well preserved. If it’s haunted, though, I wouldn’t want to stick around for nightfall.:-)

I might not want to be accidentally locked in for the night!

Arran has lots of surprises! It is much larger than I thought, Darlene. You always take such a good picture:muy photogenic…Have a great Canadian trip! Hugs xx

Thanks! It is a good size with tons to see and do. But still has that small island feel to it.

HI Darlene, what a fantastic castle and haunted too. Right up my street.

I thought of you actually as I knew you would love it.

Incredible. I could live there. I’d probably never leave. Thanks for sharing. I agree: the walk was certainly worth it.

Yes, you could. You would never leave and create many wonderful stories.

Yes! What a life living on that land in that castle and writing fantasy stories. It is the ultimate dream.

You got some amazing photos, Darlene! Looks like you had the castle to yourself!

Pretty well. I was able to ask the guides lots of questions (and tell them about my books)

There is so much history on the Isle of Arran. Your post sent me on a mini research adventure to discover more about the Hamilton family. Your photos are fantastic, Darlene. I imagine that Amanda loved this adventure.

The history of the Hamilton family is quite amazing. Amanda had a great time in the castle. xo

Castles have always been intriguing to me, and what a fantastic one this is! Thanks for sharing your great experience and fab photos!

Thanks, Irene. Castles have always fascinated me as well so I was delighted to explore this one.

I enjoyed all your photos, especially the one of someone taking your picture. The building is most interesting. Bet you were tied after that long hike. Did you walk all the way back, too?

I was tired but had a nice tea and snack at the teashop overlooking the gardens and was picked up by friends so didn’t have to walk back. I too love the picture of someone taking my picture.

Magnificent! Thanks for sharing this, Darlene. Hugs on the wing.

Thanks, Teagan. Hugs back!

Oh my goodness, Darlene, what an amazing experience! I am awestruck at the fabulous architecture of the castle! Thanks for sharing!

Thanks, Jan. Straight out of a fairy tale!

it looks fab! ❤ glad you enjoyed your visit!

It was a wonderful day!

If I ever go on a walking tour and get lost, I hope I light upon an edifice like the Brodick Castle. I believe this is a lovely time of year to travel in this part of world. Perhaps some of the description will make it into your next book, Darlene!

I was very lucky with the weather as it is typically rainy. There is a good chance this place will end up in a book.

Wow! I’d say the castle was worth the trek! And there’s a ghost, you say???

What a amazing castle, Darlene! You had all the rooms to yourself. How fortunate. The photos are fantastic.

I was pleased to not have to battle crowds like at Versailles. Having the rooms to myself made it more meaningful. The staff were very helpful as well.

What an amazing place, and I’m not at all surprised that it might be haunted!

With all the interesting characters that have lived and visited, it had to be haunted.

It definitely looks haunted!

It does, doesn’t it? There are supposed to be secret passages as well.

Fabulous! I do love a castle. You feel such a sense of history!

Thanks for the tour, Darlene. The gardens are beautiful. I loved crossing the bridge and seeing the swan.

Me too. I love seeing swans. In the UK swans are protected by the monarch.

They are beautiful birds.

Imagine being fortunate enough to wake up to that view every morning. Thanks for sharing.

That would be amazing, although my friend, who has a place on Arran, also has a great view to wake up to.

What a gorgeous post, Darlene! Thank you for sharing it with us.

Thanks. So pleased you enjoyed it.

What an incredible experience, Darlene. Your photos are amazing, and if it’s haunted, I’d leave too before the sun sets. Thanks for sharing this segment of history.

They close their doors at 4:30 and who knows what goes on after that! Oh if those walls could talk. Pleased you enjoyed the post, Lauren.

What a fabulous visit — and an incredible shelf of books!

Books collected by the family over the years. It was a comfortable room too.

That is such a long time to be in one family, Darlene. I can’t imagine the rich history. It’s beautiful! I’m so glad you found it. And how wonderful that the family made sure it would be preserved for generations to come. I love that. Thanks for the tour!

The last Duchess decided it was to expensive to maintain and donated it to the National Trust for all to enjoy. You would love this place!

I’ll bet it’s full of fantastical details. Lol

Not one I’ve visited – yet! (So many castles, so little time). Lovely post and photos, Darlene – and thank you for the tip!!

I’m surprised you haven’t been to visit this one, but then it is hidden on an island. One you would like.

Oh, Darlene, what an exquisite story and the pictures of the castle are breathtaking! The Waterford chandelier is lovely, but it could be removed and I would just stare at that intricate ceiling all day. I’d love to spend the rest of my life in that kitchen, especially with that wood-fired bread oven. I’m convinced that I was born in the wrong era!!! Thank you for sharing your adventures with us.

It was lovely and I also would have loved to live in that era. Thankfully it has been preserved for us to enjoy today.

Wow, I would love to take a tour through the castle! You brought us with you in these exquisite photos. I can only imagine what those rooms have seen!

There are many untold stories I’m sure.

Thank you very much Darlene for sharing these pictures! How awesome they are and I can only imagine how much more impressive the castle is in person!! Have a great week!

It was an amazing place and the staff very informative.

A castle by the sea – it’s beautiful! I’d love to tour during the day, but then also return at night to check out the hauntings.

Wow! I love both photos of you by the big door, close up and far away.

The ceiling is special with all The family crests. I do love that chandelier. I used to sell Waterford crystal so I know how special it is.

It looks magical, thanks for the tour, Darlene. Toni x

It was special. So glad I went to see it.

We loved Arran, too. It’s lovely reading your journey 😊

Thanks, Steve. Some places leave such a good impression and this is one of them.

I had a Messenger request, Darlene. Just checking it was legit?

Maybe don’t accept it as I’ve had some problems lately. When I get home I’ll check it out.

Will do. Let me know. I’m happy with the request but wanted to check it.

Such a beautiful place. Thank you for sharing. The library is my favourite place too😊

It’s incredible how the Brodick Castle has stayed within the Hamilton family for so long. The library looks incredible. I just love the smell of old books. No wonder it’s your favourite room in the castle. Glad to hear that it was worth the trek!

There is something about old libraries. It was worth seeing.

I am imagining the moment you thought you were lost and then there it was. A stop in your tracks kind of moment.

Exactly! Thanks. Hope you and your family are well. I’ll be at the Okotoks Library on Saturday, October 1 from 3 to 4 pm. Not sure how close that is to you.

Darlene I would have loved to have seen you there. We will be having a celebration of life for my mother in law who passed last year at the same time. I do wish you well and congratulations on the new book.

My thoughts will be with you and your family as you celebrate your mother-in-law’s life.

Thank you Darlene. We appreciate that. A life well lived.

What an interesting post! Thanks Darlene.

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